The man who built the foundation
The Giant Insider|January 04, 2021
Perkins will always be remembered for ending the dark era
Chris Bisignano

I talk a lot with Jerry on the podcast about the “Wilderness Years,” the time period in the ‘70s when it appeared that the Giants would never win a game, more or less a playoff game. There were tough times sitting with my dad in section 306 as a little boy wondering if it would ever end.

It did end, thanks to one coach named Ray Perkins.

Perkins, whose tenure as head coach marked the beginning of the Giants’ revival, passed away in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on December 9th, three days after his 79th birthday.

“Ray was George Young’s first hire,” said Giants owner John Mara. “I remember George saying he will make it very uncomfortable for our players to lose. Ray did a job for us and got us into the playoffs in 1981 for the first time in many years. He will forever be remembered by the Giants family.”

Yes he will.

The Giants were 74-134-4 in the 15 seasons before Perkins took over. Perkins, then the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers, was brought in to overhaul the franchise, especially its culture (sound familiar?).

Perkins played for Paul “Bear” Bryant at Alabama and was known for his tough-as-nails discipline.

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